Category : Buyer Agency

A Delightful Meeting with a Window Replacement Contractor

It is funny what you learn and when you learn it in the real estate business. As an exclusive buyer agent I’ve been been in thousands of homes with new or updated windows. In fact window discussions are very common for us because it does have a significant impact on the quality of living in a home. I know a lot about windows. But I learned a bit more today.

As it turns out my wife and I are looking at doing some remodelling and we met a window contractor at our house today. I’ve worked with a lot of contractors over the years and probably met with a dozen or so just in the last month for one thing or another.

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Connie Moore of Wallside Windows. Wallside was referrred to us by one of my past home buyer clients who had them do some work ten years ago.

Now understand that these are not luxury windows. I love the Pella product with the built-in blinds. I like a lot of the premium windows that I see when I show homes. These are not premium windows. Wallside focuses on vinyl replacement windows. These are basic, energy efficient, windows which are guaranteed for 35 years. (And the company is actually old enough that the guarantee means something.)

National and State associations of REALTORS falsely Misleading Consumers on agency

As time goes by a lot of good information can get lost on the internet. This is a press release from NAEBA in August of 2004 that covers the intentional effort of many state REALTOR associations (Including ours here in Michigan) to confuse and mislead buyers about agency.

It is clear enough and important enough that I wanted to reproduce a few of the paragraphs here so when the topic comes up again it is easy to find.

Insider Trading Within the Real Estate Industry? – The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) Points to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and State Realtor Associations for Falsely Misleading Consumers

N.J., Aug. 25 2004 /PRNewswire/ — Claiming that most National Association of REALTORS(R) members (Traditional Agents who often try and claim to represent both sellers and buyers in the same transaction), are infringing on the trust of real estate buyers by falsely claiming to be “Exclusive Buyer Agents,” the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents wants to set the record straight.

“In a nutshell,” says Andrew Show, NAEBA president, “NAR and many of its state REALTOR associations have promulgated a falsification falsification of the truth by claiming that real estate buyers are getting `exclusive buyer representation’ when, in fact, these buyers are simply giving an `exclusive compensation agreement’ to that particular Real Estate Company.”

Show explains that NAR’s promotion of “exclusive buyer representation” has little to do with how the buyer is represented. NAR’s deliberate misuse of this terminology, however, has misled consumers by confusing them into thinking that they are getting exclusive buyer representation with an Exclusive Buyer Agent on every purchase, when, in fact, the consumers are not receiving these specialized services. These misrepresentations that go on in the real estate industry are more massive and widespread than recent corporate scandals that have received so much media attention. This malpractice has detrimentally affected buyers and sellers for over a decade. Show also explains that the misleading representation lies in the fact that many groups use terms such as “Exclusive Buyer Agent,” “Exclusive Buyer Agency,” or “Exclusive Buyer Agency Contract,” yet these same groups do not truly engage in the professional behaviors inherent in these definitions — protection, negotiations, advocacy, no conflicts of interest, and fiduciary representation to and for that buyer, exclusively.

“Very simply, `exclusive buyer agent’ means that a real estate professional and their company is dedicated solely – exclusively – to the rights of the home buyer, not the seller, during a real estate transaction,” says Show. “This means that exclusive buyer agents and exclusive buyer agencies never represent the seller’s property listing. Never! “A seller will sign an `Exclusive Right To Sell Listing Contract’ which has nothing to do with Agency or Representation. That is clarified in a completely separate document. No Realtor would ever refer to this as an `Exclusive Seller Agency Agreement!’ So why does NAR treat buyers like second- class citizens?” Show wonders. Show cites an example of an Ohio real estate company that refers to their buyer agency agreement as an Exclusive Buyer Agency Contract. “Yet the only thing exclusive about it is the fact that the buyer must purchase through that real estate company during the term of the agreement,” says Show. “It has nothing to do with representing the buyer’s best interests exclusively.” “Consumers must be aware of these all-too-prevalent falsifications. Consumers who are aware are now demanding full representation by a true EBA” states Show.

For more information about obtaining representation from a true EBA such as NAEBA, visit their website at http://www.naeba.com.

When it comes to closing fees do you have a “Gutless” buyer’s agent?

A lot of real estate agents in our markets these days say they are buyer’s agents. (Most are actually designated buyer agents but that is a different issue.)

However in our experience few agents will actually help a buyer negotiate anything other than the purchase contract on the house.

Here is an example of negotiating for the buyer’s benefit with respect closing costs, specifically title company services:

Twice this month listing offices have wanted to close at their related title company. I sometimes have a problem with this which puts me in a position opposite the listing office and the title company.

First, the financial relationship should be disclosed. It rarely is.*

What is the difference between Buyer Agency and Designated Buyer Agency?

This question comes up often. I’ve never found a consumer who understood it and the vast majority of real estate agents and brokers I’ve spoken to don’t really understand it either.

After years of teaching it in home buyer classes I’ve found that diagrams make it much easier to understand.

The other thing to understand is that a consumer’s legal relationship is always with the broker or brokerage, never with the salesperson directly. In fact, it is illegal for a salesperson to take compensation directly from a consumer. The relationship is with the brokerage and any compensation must be paid to the brokerage.

Here is a diagram of Buyer Agency:

BuyerAgencyChart

Note the buyer is blue, and everybody in the real estate office is also blue. They all represent the buyers and have requirements of loyalty and full disclosure to the buyers.

Here is Designated Buyer Agency:

What is wrong with this picture? Why have an inspection?

So often we talk with real estate agents who question the choice of inspectors or question the reasons for even having an inspection.

As the company that represents buyers in our area I am not surprised. But sometimes I see an issue so obvious I think that anyone in the business should be able to identify it.

Here is one such photo:

BadwaterHeaterInstall600x450

Unless you are in your first year in this business you should really see one obvious and one more subtle defect with this installation.

And, we rely on home inspectors to find and document these types of concerns and since both of them are safety related, they may be worth discussing with a home seller for a credit or repair by a licensed contractor.

If you are a buyer considering who to use as a buyer’s agent or a designated buyer’s agent, you may want to make sure those you are considering have enough knowledge of homes to discuss topics like this with you.

Jon Boyd Broker/Manager
The Home Buyer’s Agent of Ann Arbor, Inc
1905 Pauline Blvd. Suite 1 
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
We serve the Ann Arbor – Brighton – Plymouth – Novi – Canton – Ypsilanti – Saline – Chelsea – Dexter – Novi – Northville areas in Southeastern Michigan.

2 Incredibly Useful Moving Tips For Buyers or Sellers

Moving is usually a challenging and time consuming effort. These two tips will probably help anyone moving a home or office save time, stress, and money.

In our many years of helping home buyers we’ve found two things that most movers need to make a transition from one home to another. These things usually are just needed for a few days to a few months. They are moving boxes and extra storage space. This article will let you in on some of the very best options for both of those two items.

In our many years of helping home buyers we’ve found two things that most movers need to make a transition from one home to another. These things usually are just needed for a few days to a few months. They are moving boxes and extra storage space. This article will let you in on some of the very best options for both of those two items.

1. Boxes

Moving boxes always seem to be in short supply. Even if you are having professional movers pack your belongings you may still want to pack some things yourself. A basic small 12X12X16 moving box can cost as much as $6.00 if you buy it at a office supply store. Larger boxes can cost a lot more.

What you probably don’t know is that Home Depot has amazing prices on moving boxes. I assume that they made a strategic decision to price moving boxes about at their cost to bring in new business.

Home Depot’s small box is just 67 cents! Their large 18X18X24 box is just $1.37. They also have a medium sized box that is priced under a dollar.

These boxes are priced less than used boxes in most areas.

After you are done with the boxes you can advertise them on Craigslist and people will be happy to take them off your hands. Since the market price for boxes is so much higher than what Home Depot sells these for you could probably sell these boxes used and almost break even.

2. Short Term Storage Space

During a move there are often times when you can’t quite filter through everything you have in a time frame to match when you need to move. You can often benefit from moving some storage type items into somewhere other than your destination. Here is the trick: You can often get the first month at low cost or even free when you lease a storage building and most leases are month-to-month!

As an example when we moved our office recently we needed some extra space for desks, files and such for about 6 weeks while we made the transition. I spoke to five storage building locations that offered the first month free on a month-to-month lease. I ended up choosing the location nearest our office who actually offered a 600 square foot space with the first two months free. I did take the insurance policy they offered but even so we ended up paying less than $30 to use that space for almost two months. It worked out very well.
We’ve found these two tips very useful in the moves we’ve been involved with recently and we make an effort to share them with our buyer clients. I hope you find them useful and share them with others also!

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